News and updates from The Ohio State University Department of Political Science.

NEWSLETTER 2013-2014

Political Science Major OSU Nominee for Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships

Erin McAuliffe, a fourth year political science major, has been nominated as a candidate for the 2014 Rhodes and Marshall Scholarship competitions. McAuliffe has had quite a successful career during her time at Ohio State. She conducted honors research on Burma, interned for the German parliament, and will be moving to Thailand after graduation to work as an intern for the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners (AAPA) Burma. After her internship, Erin will begin working as an English Teaching Assistant as a 2014 Thailand Fulbright recipient. To read more on Erin's story visit her page.

Political Science Students study at Sciences Po in Paris, France

The 2013-2014 school year marked the debut of the Sciences Po study abroad program through the Political Science Department. Rebecca Izzi and Luke Fesko, two political science majors, had the amazing opportunity of traveling to Paris, France to study at Sciences Po, a highly competitive and diverse French university that specializes in the humanities and social sciences in fall semester. To read more about their experiences and advice for future students please visit their page


We are excited to announce our two new degree programs: Bachelor of Science in Political Science and the Bachelor of Arts in World Politics. 

Bachelor of Arts in World Politics

The Bachelor of Arts in World Politics provides an in-depth understanding of political institutions and processes around the world at the national, cross-national, and international levels. This major will prepare students to live and work in a globalized environment in which international events influence domestic politics, and vice versa, with increasing intensity. To learn more click here.

Bachelor of Science in Political Science

The Bachelor of Science in Political Science provides rigorous training in social scientific methodology and equips students to study and produce empirical research about politics. This major allows students who plan to attend graduate school for advanced study in Political Science or another social science discipline, or who are pursuing a second STEM-related major or minor, to pursue their interest in politics while developing and making use of their analytical and technical skills. To learn more click here

(Both degrees Pending Board of Regents Approval)


The Politics of International Terrorism (PS 4318), is an advance undergraduate course that is divided into three parts. In the first, students examine the concept 'terrorism' and the phenomena it purports to describe. Terrorism, it turns out, can be tricky to define, and the label is politically contentious. In the second part of the course the class learns about some of the causes and dynamics of terrorism. In the final part of the course, students learn about how states work together in counter-terrorism. The international politics of confronting terrorism is complex and continues to evolve. Click here to sign up for the course. 

The Politics of Modern Evil (PS 4894H): How does politics change when we are confronted not be the ordinary challenges of governance but by great evils and extraordinary disasters? What is the point of politics if the world is indifferent to our success - or even opposed to it? And if human history is filled with terrible atrocities, what right do we have to hope for a better future? We will explore these questions through philosophy, political tracts, and speeches, novels, and film. Contact your Advisor to add this course today!


Our Department has several student organizations that it sponsors throughout the year for various trips and conferences. Check out what these student organizations have been up during the 2013-2014 school year.


Collegiate Council on World Affairs

Collegiate Council on World Affairs (CCWA) is a student organization dedicated to the discussion of International Relations and current events. They provide a forum for debate hosting conferences and acting as the University's Model United Nations team. This year, with assistance from the Department, CCWA traveled to conferences at Georgetown University, the University of Pennsylvania, Penn State University, University of Chicago and Harvard University to compete with students from all over the world. CCWA took home a total of 23 individual awards this year, as well as team-wide awards for Best Delegation at the Pennsylvania United Nations Conference and the Secretary General’s award at University of Chicago, for being the top Midwestern school at the conference. To read more about CCWA's success visit their page

Mock Trial

The purpose of the Undergraduate student Mock Trial is to replicate all aspects of the legal process. Students learn how to prepare witnesses for trial and how to portray them at trial. Student attorneys will also learn to prepare witness examinations and statements for trial and the rules of evidence and procedure used in actual courtrooms. There are over 550 mock trial teams for approximately 350 universities and colleges across the country. Only 48 teams advance to compete at the National Championship Tournament. For the first time in Ohio State history, our Mock Trial team made it to the National tournament. For more information please visit this page

Model African Union

Similar to CCWA, these students attend Model United Nations conferences. For the third year in a row, the group traveled to Washington, D.C. and competed against over 48 Model AU teams in the National conference where they were successful in winning two awards. To read more on their experience at Nationals visit their page


Dr. Jan Pierskalla

Professor Pierskalla specializes in the study of comparative politics, in particular topics related to the political economy of development and political violence. While getting his Ph.D. at Duke, he did his field research in Southeast Asia focusing on regional and local politics in the region. He traveled to Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam. As a follow up from his field research, he is currently working with the World Bank on a project on decentralization in Indonesia. To learn more about Professor Pierskalla visit his page.
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Andrea Blinkhorn, Intern for the White House
For many political science majors interning or working at the White House has always been a dream. For our recent alumna, Andrea Blinkhorn, this dream came true. Ms. Blinkhorn had the amazing opportunity to be an intern for the speechwriters for Vice President Biden, which put her directly at the heart of our government. Click here to read more on Andrea's story. 


Francis R. Aumann Award for Distinguished Senior Achievement (Academic Excellence and Service to the Community and the University)
2014 Award Recipient:
Ms. Megan Keenan

Lawrence J.R. Herson Award for Academic Excellence
2014 Junior Political Science Majors:
Mr. Timothy Beavers
Mr. Erik Leiden
2014 Senior Political Science Majors:
Ms. Jennifer Mayer
Mr. Aaron Tourigny

William Jennings Bryan Prize for Best Paper in American Politics / Political Theory
2014 Award Recipients:

Mr. Todd Ives
Mr. David Krosin

Jacobina Aman Award for Best Paper in Comparative Politics / International Relations
2014 Award Recipients:
Mr. Zachary Karabatak
Honorable Mention: Ms. Samantha Grevas and Mr. David Krosin

Henry R. Spencer Award for Outstanding Senior Honors Thesis in Political Science
2014 Award Recipient:

Ms. Erin McAuliffe
Honorable Mention: Mr. Zachary Karabatak
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